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Old 08-22-2010, 07:57 AM   #21
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Affinity fraud is successful because of one common human trait -- we want to believe that others in "our" group are trustworthy and will not harm us. It is extremely tiring to be suspicious 100% of the time and most people want the psychological comfort that comes from being able to let down our barriers and relax. Affinity fraud affects all groups where people think they have a common bond and shared interest. Religious people are not any more credulous than any other group in this respect. Shared employment, social activities, ethnicity or country of origin are also common bonds exploited by affinity fraudsters.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:07 AM   #22
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Shared employment, social activities, ethnicity or country of origin are also common bonds exploited by affinity fraudsters.
One of the more unusual "advance fee fraud" e-mails which I've received claimed to have been from a US Marines Captain, based in Afghanistan. His unit had discovered $20 million of the Taliban's gold and for some reasons, despite being in the US Marines and all, needed the help of this particular civilian to get the gold out of the country. He was prepared to pay me 10%, but he made it sound like it was my patriotic duty to do it anyway.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:13 PM   #23
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Consider too how YOU too as a tax payer are duped out of your tax money by the .gov and its tight policies on its medicare fraud as I saw on that show. the penealites,.......slight if at all.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:44 PM   #24
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Affinity fraud affects all groups where people think they have a common bond and shared interest. Religious people are not any more credulous than any other group in this respect. Shared employment, social activities, ethnicity or country of origin are also common bonds exploited by affinity fraudsters.
I'm reminded by this every time I'm called by various charities claiming to be affiliated to or aligned with police and fire organizations.

But these groups usually eat 80-90% of your donation in fund raising expenses, including the employment of professional high-pressure sales people soliciting funds. Most legitimate police charities really hate these guys just as legitimate religious charities hate it when scam artists hiding behind religion do it, as it undermines trust in not only the legitimate charities doing work under those banners, but can make some people distrustful of the institution itself.

My wife (early in our marriage) once pledged $50 to an "affinity" charity tying itself to fire departments -- when we got the "bill" a couple days later I saw the fine print and saw that only $6 was going to the actual works and the rest was fundraising and administrative. We didn't return the envelope and they went away after calling once a few weeks later wondering where our donation was. (We assuaged the guilt by giving $20 directly to a much more reputable local firefighters charity. We saved a lot of money and three times as much went to actual good works.)

All it takes is an entity that a lot of people trust and someone will misuse it to prey on unsuspecting donors.
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